Parliamentary Representative for the Portsmouth Constituency, Ian Douglas has said that measures are being put in place for the reopening of the yachting sector due to an increase in interest and inquiries being received.
He said the reopening of the yachting sector would create an opportunity to welcome more visitors to the destination.
In December last year, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced government’s intention to reopen that sector and said that the process of consultation and planning had started to facilitate that decision.
“I am happy to report that on Tuesday, January 13th the cabinet approved the general protocols and guidelines to be implemented for re-entry upon arrival,” Douglas he said. “Travelers are required to wear masks at all times during the arrival process up to and including disembarkation and leaving the port of entry.”
According to the Portsmouth MP, even with the risk of global travel, yachtees are still very much interested in coming to experience rest and relaxation in Dominica.
He said agents in Portsmouth have been receiving numerous requests from all categories in the yachting sector but emphasized that travelers must follow all instructions of the health providers and officials including physical distancing, good respiratory etiquette practice and personal sanitization.
“Before arriving in port, all cruisers must submit an online health questionnaire at least 24 hours before their arrival in port,” Douglas noted. “They can do so by visiting the website dominicacovid19.dominica .gov.dm.”
He said yachtees will be required to remain, for the duration of their stay, unless otherwise cleared, in a quarantine zone to be established by the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA) and the police.
“While in the quarantine zone vessels will be required to fly the colour-coded quarantine flag to facilitate identification,” Douglas stated adding that upon medical clearance, the vessel will be allowed to move to a cleared area of the harbor as established by DASPA.
He warns that there is a penalty for leaving the quarantine zone without medical clearance.
Douglas explained that if the vessel is coming from the low, medium or high risk destination and remaining in port for longer than 5 days, a PCR Test must be administered at the cost on day1 and yachtees returned to their vessel for a mandatory 5-day quarantine.
“They will be tested again on day-5 and await the results on their vessel,” he noted. “If the result of the PCR Test done on day-5 is positive they will be admitted to the COVID isolation unit until discharged.”
Douglas added, “If the result of the test done on day-5 is negative, the crew will be deemed medically cleared.”
He said no more than 30 vessels at any given time will be allowed to dock and yachts shall be allowed at the Cabrits Cruise Ship Berth at Prince Rupert Bay only.